Improving after-care for cancer survivors 

01/10/2014 00:00 
A programme to improve after-care for cancer survivors is being developed by a specialist nurse working with UCLH thanks to funding from Macmillan Cancer Support.
Katie Sutton 

The project, led by former senior UCLH sister Katie Sutton, will see the redesign of patient care following treatment so that the care received is more personalised to individuals.
Although the project is being rolled out nationwide, Katie’s remit is to ensure that the right post-treatment pathway is put in place at UCLH, which deals with a wide range of cancer patients from across the UK.
The new programme will be piloted with a group of lymphoma, breast and prostate cancer patients before it is introduced more widely.
Katie said: “Whilst there are significant physical effects from radiotherapy, surgery or chemotherapy, there are a range of other things in people’s lives which need to be addressed so that patients can return to a full life. Some people need support in going back to work and readjusting to the life that they lived before treatment, and everyone’s needs are different.
“That’s why our aim is to make after-care as personalised as possible, while giving patients as much information about their health and our services as we can, so that they can take control. At the moment patients come back into a clinic for regular follow-ups, but we want patients to be able to see us when they need to, not when we tell them to.”
The new national project is funded in part by retailer Marks & Spencer, which has raised £2.8million since 2010 for Macmillan services in communities across the UK.

An event for the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning was hosted in the café of the Macmillan Cancer Centre on Friday 28 September.  Staff, patients and their families gathered to enjoy coffee and cake and, most importantly, chat to one another in the aid of charity. A total of £1552 was raised for Macmillan.
Katie said: “Projects like this are happening across the country and have a huge impact on people’s experiences after they’ve finished treatment for cancer.
“People often think of Macmillan sponsoring nurse roles but they also sponsor projects like mine, which are about improving services for people.”
For more information about Macmillan Cancer Support or if you wish to donate, visit www.macmillan.org.uk

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